Dentists’ Provident firmly believe in supporting their members and provide guidance about introducing preventive programmes for a dentist’s health and wellbeing for a lifetime of good practice.
The Alexander technique is a proven method of re-educating yourself to recognise any harmful habits, how to stop and think and to choose a better response. It helps millions of people across the world to naturally overcome back, neck and joint pain, muscle tension and stiffness, poor posture and other health considerations.
Dentists’ Provident’s claims statistics show that over the last five years almost one in three claims paid to members were for musculoskeletal issues, and in 2013 there was an increase on 2012 with both men and women. These included general back pain, lumbar problems, sciatica, spondylitis and prolapsed intervertebral discs.
To support members with such preventive programmes Dentists’ Provident have started working with The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) which was founded in the UK in 1958 by teachers trained by FM Alexander. There are currently over 2,500 teaching members of STAT and its Affiliated Societies world-wide.
Not many dentists know about the benefits of the AT and how it can help their practising and personal lives, including pain control, prevention and stress relief, all of which can occur in a dentist’s life and even contribute to them taking early retirement. Dentists find themselves in awkward positions trying to maintain maximum comfort for their patients potentially causing unnecessary long term problems.
Antonella Cavallone, a qualified teacher and member of STAT and has worked with a wide range of healthcare professionals. She says “People whose routine daily tasks involve the overuse of particular parts of the body, such as when leaning forward to examine patients, create excessive tension in the neck and lumbar spine. The way a dentist sits on their stool and overarches the lumbar spine can lead to postural imbalances, mal-coordination and eventually pain. With the Alexander Technique we teach such professionals to recognise poor quality of movement and replace it with more natural, better balanced actions, such as bending from the hips instead of the upper back.”
Dr Rosie Lane, dentist and AT teacher adds by talking about her experience “Putting undue strain on my back and neck is something I did in my 20 years of practice, which contributed to my early retirement with severely prolapsed cervical discs. It is important to remember the basic good sitting encouraged by the Alexander Technique and checking that your head is neither falling forward nor being braced backward.”
Dentists Provident invite all members to get involved with the AT with a special offer if they book a series of ten lessons, then they receive one lesson free. This is part of the member support services that Dentists Provident will be offering their members to help them try to achieve a healthy and pain free practising life as well as supporting their lifestyles outside of the surgery.